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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: October 02, 2016, 09:21:27 AM
I read an Alert from Pravda On The Hudson.

Let me see if I have this right.

Trump had large losses in one year, but the tax code forced him into taking the losses over a long amount of time.

Is that it?

Of course there is also the matter of real estate having non-cash expenses (i.e. depreciation).   In that cash flow matters more than nominal income, maybe Trump is right that his financials tell more than his tax records?  Who knew!  I'm shocked, absolutely shocked.
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: October 02, 2016, 09:16:06 AM
Politically (In)Correct thread is an option here too.

Until people have the balls to stand up to this nonsense it will continue to percolate and foment , , ,
103  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Report on 2016 US Open Gathering on: October 01, 2016, 02:59:04 PM
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Obama about to recognize Palestine State? on: October 01, 2016, 02:51:42 PM
President Obama is rumored to be considering a major reversal of decades-long U.S. policy toward Israel by supporting a UN Security Council resolution that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Congress must act to counter this bold and reckless move that endangers Israel's security and America's strategic interests.

There is much at stake: Israel is a free and democratic ally in a hostile region that has been repeatedly attacked by its neighbors. Before it occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights in 1967, these territories were used as a base of war and terrorism against the Jewish state. Offers to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank that would allow for a safe and secure Israel have been repaid by intifada after intifada.

Others have argued persuasively that any Palestinian state established in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel will become a virtually ungovernable hotbed of terrorism sure to threaten not just Israel, but also the region and the world. The events in Gaza in the past decade strongly support this position. Ordinary Palestinians will also suffer, forced to endure rule by the same Islamic fanatics and brutal, corrupt autocrats who have destroyed their economy.
Any Palestinian state established absent a peace agreement with Israel will be a hotbed of terrorism.

A White House decision to support unilateral Palestinian statehood would unquestionably be contrary to the will of Congress: 88 senators recently signed a letter opposing such an action, while 388 members of the House have signed a similar letter supporting a veto of all "one-sided" UN resolutions concerning the Israel/Palestine issue.

And these numbers understate congressional opposition: several senators refused to sign the letter because they thought it was insufficiently strong.

Furthermore, a White House reversal on unilateral Palestinian statehood would also be contrary to the stated policies of both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

To dissuade a determined White House from this course of action, Congress will have to do more than write letters. Here are some of the legislative options that could throw significant roadblocks in its path.

Congress should make clear it will sanction a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

First, Congress should make clear its intention to sanction any unilaterally-declared Palestinian state and its new leaders, blocking their access to U.S. banking and markets, similar to sanctions on the Iranian regime. Loss of access to the U.S. financial system would be extremely costly to any Palestinian regime.
Second, Congress should make clear its intention to immediately and completely cut hundreds of millions of dollars in annual U.S. direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the event that President Mahmoud Abbas succeeds in his bid to win Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN.

Congress reduced this aid by 22 percent last year in retaliation for the PA's continuing terrorism incitement. It would be a significant blow to a new state to cut all such aid.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas meets with relatives of Palestinian "martyrs" against Israel in a photo published by the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 2, 2016.

Third, Congress should mandate that any newly-created Palestinian state be designated a state sponsor of terrorism. This designation would include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; and various other restrictions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) currently uses a shell-game to pay the families of terrorists, something Congress is currently working to stop. Other PA ties to various terrorist activities go back decades.
Finally, Congress should review and update decades-old federal laws prohibiting U.S. funding of any UN organization that "accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states" to ensure that they apply and cannot be skirted if Abbas wins Security Council recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Now would be a good time for Congress to stop shirking its duty to shape foreign policy.

Congress should use its power boldly to exert influence over this vital issue. Large majorities in Congress opposed the Iran nuclear deal and had both the facts and public opinion on their side. But due to the peculiarities of the law and the politics of the situation, they were outmaneuvered. Congress should work to ensure this situation is not repeated.

Though knowledgeable and trusted congressional leaders like Senators Arthur Vandenberg and Henry "Scoop" Jackson once led coalitions in Congress that held great influence in foreign affairs, there is a bipartisan belief that Congress has shirked its duty to shape foreign policy in recent decades. Now would be a good time to start taking it back.

Clifford Smith is director of the Middle East Forum's Washington Project.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alicia Machado driving get away car from attempted murder on: October 01, 2016, 12:31:45 AM
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Felons to vote in CA on: September 30, 2016, 08:44:32 PM
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Larry Kudlow on: September 30, 2016, 08:42:42 PM
Let me pull out my list of Hillary tax hikes: a $350 billion income-tax increase in the form of a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions (without lowering personal tax rates); a more than $400 billion “fairness” tax hike in the form of a 4 percent surcharge on high-end earners; and the “Buffet rule,” which would establish a 30 percent minimum tax on earners with adjusted gross incomes over $1 million.
Clinton also proposes increase the estate tax rate to a range of 45 to 65 percent and reduce the exemption to $3.5 million.

Remember, estate taxes are already hit once by the income tax and again by the capital-gains tax. Here Hillary would end the stepped-up capital gains tax basis and instead value the gain all the way back to the initial transaction.
One of my favorite economists, Scott Grannis, calls this legalized theft.
Hillary also would raise the capital-gains tax to over 40 percent, unless gains are held for more than six years; cap various business deductions (without lowering the corporate rate); and install some sort of “exit tax” for corporate earnings overseas (which are overseas to avoid the high corporate rates she will not reduce).
Then there’s her proposed tax on stock trading, her attraction to a payroll tax hike, her endorsement of a steep soda tax and 25 percent national gun tax, and her openness to a carbon tax.

Now contrast this with Donald Trump’s plan to reduce tax rates for individuals and large and small businesses (while abolishing the death tax).
His new 15 percent corporate-tax-rate plan would unleash overseas-profits repatriation and a huge surge in corporate investment. By itself, the business tax reform could grow the economy by 4 percent.

He has a prosperity plan. She has a recession plan.


Slashing the corporate tax rate I am certain would result in a new wave of corporate investment, which has been noticeably lacking in the current weak expansion. My brother, who used to be Treasurer at Qualcomm, says that he is positive Qualcomm (and many other companies) would react very positively to such a move. It’s hard to underestimate how powerful the Trump changes would be, in my humble opinion.

Hillary, however, would do everything wrong. Maybe the Republican Congress might play a few more years of deadlock, but then again if Hillary wins the Dems might regain control of the Senate. Who knows the mischief the two establishment parties might wreak. I think voting for Trump is a very sensible gamble that things might improve somewhat or a lot, whereas if Hillary wins it’s only a question of how badly things might deteriorate.

I’m not excusing Trump’s painful ignorance on foreign trade matters, but I don’t think he would be able to do a lot of damage there. I think his bluster is mostly a negotiating tactic. I also note that Steve Moore and David Malpass, both good friends of mine for many years, are among Trump’s advisors, and they are solid supply-siders, so at the very least they might be able to tame Trump’s baser instincts.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 30, 2016, 08:22:02 PM
ow much money can the Obama Administration seize from banks before triggering a global financial panic? U.S. Department of Justice lawyers decided to find out by running a two-week experiment at Germany’s Deutsche Bank. The experiment appears to have ended on Friday, but not before Washington had ignited a run on one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

The government threat to Deutsche Bank’s safety and soundness began on Sept. 15. That’s when the Journal reported that Justice was demanding an eye-watering $14 billion to resolve an investigation of the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 financial panic.

Deutsche Bank then had to acknowledge the size of this government stick-up as its stock price proceeded to drop more than 20% in a fortnight. The lack of exuberance among investors was entirely rational. Washington’s proposed withdrawal represented most of the bank’s market capitalization.

Why announce this giant robbery now? Well, on Friday morning the Financial Times quoted two anonymous sources as saying Justice is seeking an “omnibus settlement” from Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Credit Suisse “to achieve maximum public impact by collecting an eye-catching sum in penalties” merely “weeks before the U.S. presidential election.”

The FT is often wrong, but we assume it didn’t make this up. And you don’t have to be a cynic to believe that this Administration would stage a bank raid that it could brag about to rev up voter enthusiasm among Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Democrats.

The problem is that the feds were creating the very systemic financial risk—aka “contagion”—that they claim to want to prevent. The public raid created so many doubts that major hedge funds began to flee Deutsche Bank amid uncertainty about its financial stability. The bank’s travails also called into question the strength of other European lenders, whose stock prices also fell.

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan had to write a letter assuring employees that despite “speculation in the media that a few of our hedge fund clients have reduced some activities with us,” the bank still had more than 20 million clients and strong fundamentals.

A crisis for the bank was averted when Agence France Press reported Friday that the U.S. government suddenly appeared willing to accept only $5.4 billion from Deutsche Bank, rather than the $14 billion it had been demanding. Not so coincidentally, the new settlement amount is roughly equal to the litigation reserves recently reported by the bank. The news appeared to quell the run, and Deutsche Bank shares rallied strongly.

To summarize this fiasco: The feds leak a giant settlement number of $14 billion against an already shaky European bank to make the Democrats look tough on banks only weeks before an election. But they misjudge the market reaction, and then quickly settle for less than half that amount when they realize they might end up toppling a giant bank and kicking off another global financial panic.

We’d sure like to see the phone and email communications between Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Attorney General Loretta Lynch this week. Maybe Mr. Lew’s Financial Stability Oversight Council should investigate this case of government-induced systemic risk. He could bring in House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling as investigating counsel.

Notably missing here is any thought for proper justice in the creation of either settlement number. It all seems to have been an arbitrary political game. Justice lawyers have never even publicly stated what exactly Deutsche Bank is supposed to have done wrong. Does it even matter in Barack Obama’s Washington? 

109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jonah Golberg: Anal Ventriloquism on: September 30, 2016, 08:19:34 PM
 "FWIW my sense of things is that Trump's proclivity for creating food fight snark fests is starting to wear rather thin with a lot of people; it may not have reached critical mass, but he may be setting himself up for a fall."

Jonah Goldberg

Dear Reader (including the disgusting ones who made that G-File reader sex tape, check it out),

In my most selfish moments, I want Donald Trump to win the election.

But before I explain that, let me just say he could win. I talked to Hugh Hewitt this morning and he said he was stealing my line, so I figured I’d better get it down on “paper” fast.

Trump got to where he is for a lot of reasons, starting with a 17-candidate collective-action problem, myriad failures of both the GOP’s establishment and anti-establishment wings, and, of course, the cold, indifferent cruelty of this meaningless, empty universe where nothing matters and the living envy the dead. But giving Trump his due, he also got to where he is because he was great at punching-up. When he took on Jeb Bush, Reince Priebus, the media, Washington, etc., he was punching up. He wasn’t just the outsider coming into town to blow things up, he was Godzilla smashing all before him. In the standard Godzilla movie there’s always that scene where the hapless Japanese army tries to lure the beast toward some electric power lines. Godzilla takes the bait and bites the power lines. But the shock doesn’t kill him, it makes him stronger! That was Trump in the primaries. Mangling metaphors somewhat, people told him “You can’t chomp those power lines! Those are the third rails of American politics!” Trumpzilla cared not, bit them, and got stronger.

But here’s the problem: Everyone thinks Godzilla is cool when he’s fighting Monster Zero or swatting away fighter jets. But when they have that close up shot of Godzilla’s clawed foot coming down on a child or a screaming woman, all of a sudden, you can’t cheer the King of Monsters. So it is with Trump: He wins when he punches up. He loses when he punches down.

And that’s Trump’s Achilles’ heel: He can’t resist punching down. He can no more stop himself from “counter-punching” the little guy than my dog can agree not to chase rabbits. (“It’s just so hoppy! I must kill it!”)

Everyone knows this. Hillary Clinton knew it and she baited him. She almost literally could have said, “Donald, I’m going to bait you. You would be a fool to take the bait. But I know you will.” And he still would take the bait. In fact, I think he would be more likely to take the bait if she said she were baiting him, because he would want to prove that he could take the bait and win.

I thought Trump lost the debate, but not overwhelmingly. He was clearly the winner of the first 30 minutes or so, and if he’d stayed that guy for the full 90 it would have been a hugely consequential rout. But then, Hillary implemented “Bait Trump Protocol Alpha-1,” when she brought up how he got his start with a $14 million loan from his father. (She got the details wrong, but it doesn’t matter. When you’re baiting fish or Trumpzilla, the lure doesn’t have to be real, it just has to be shiny. In fact, getting the bait just slightly wrong makes it even more irresistible, because we all have a natural instinct to correct falsehoods aimed at us, and Trump more than most.)

So Trump bit the shiny thing, and for the rest of the night, plodding, dull Hillary Clinton led Trump around the stage like a matador with a red cape. And, four days later, Trump is still charging around like an enraged bull. At first I thought Clinton’s use of Alicia Machado was odd. There are so many Trump victims out there, why use one with such a weird past? But that’s what was so brilliant about it. If Machado were a nun, it’d be harder for Trump to attack. But Trump thinks he can win this one on the merits and so he won’t let go of it. He didn’t learn the lesson of his feud with the Khan family: The only way to win such fights is to not engage in them at all. The debate wasn’t a disaster but how he handled the post-debate spin was, and continues to be.

If Trump could stay on message, if he could be a disciplined candidate, I think he’d be ten points ahead by now. But realistically, this is no different from saying if he could control anything metal with his mind, he would be Magneto.

, , ,

Trump the Destroyer, First of His Name

I say “some” of his supporters for a reason. Because I think many of his supporters would continue to defend Trump no matter what he did or said as president. And that’s probably the main reason I’m so opposed to him: A Trump presidency would destroy conservatism in this country.

I’ve written a lot about the corrupting effect Trump’s candidacy has had on conservatism. But let me try to put it a different way. Trump is an unintentional master of the art of rectal ventriloquism. No, I don’t mean he’s a champion farter. I mean he talks out of his ass, and the words magically start coming out of other peoples’ mouths. He says eminent domain is wonderful and suddenly conservatives start saying, “Yeah, it’s wonderful!” He floats a new entitlement for child care and almost instantaneously people once opposed to it start bragging about how sensitive they are to the plight of working moms. He says Social Security needs to be more generous and days later once proud tea partiers are saying the same thing, and the rest of us are left to marvel how we didn’t even see Trump’s lips, or cheeks, move.

This is a perfect example of the corrupting effect of populism and personality cults. I keep mentioning my favorite line from William Jennings Bryan: “The people of Nebraska are for free silver and I am for free silver. I will look up the arguments later.” For many Trump supporters, the rule of the day is, “Donald Trump is for X and I am for X. I will look up the arguments later (if ever).”


Your Weapons Are Useless Against Him

I’ve spoken to countless leading conservatives, including prominent politicians, who tell me that once Trump is in the White House, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, and all of Trump’s wonderful appointees will be able to manage him. Trump’s talk-radio and TV supporters will keep him honest and make sure he keeps his promises.

I think this is in-frick’n-sane.

Candidate Trump can’t be managed. Everyone with any contacts in or around Trump world has heard the stories about how his staff tries to impose discipline on him. The jokes about Kellyanne Conway desperately trying to hide his phone from him to keep him off Twitter are funny because they’re true.
And yet, you’re telling me that when Trump wins despite rejecting all of this advice and actually takes possession of Air Force One, and when the Marine guards start saluting him as the band plays “Hail to the Chief,” I’m supposed to believe this staggering narcissist will suddenly become manageable? Seriously?

Moreover, throughout his entire career in business, he’s made a name for himself as a promise-breaker, welcher, and snake-oil salesman, willing to say whatever he needs to in order to close the deal. “Sure this car gets 200 miles to the gallon. Sign the check and you’ll see.” That is what the art of the deal really means for him. He’ll get the White House and he’ll say to the rest of us looking to cash in his political promises, “Try and collect.”

Trump is not a conservative. He has some instincts that overlap with conservatism — the importance of law and order, the value of military strength etc. — but these instincts are not derived from any serious attachment to ideas or arguments. They stem from his lizard-brain machismo and his authoritarian streak. He never talks about liberty or limited government unless someone shoves it into his TelePrompTer. His ideas about economics and public policy are shot-through with dirigisme. He’s learned to talk the talk about free-market solutions, but in his heart he’s still the guy who believes single-payer health care works “incredibly well.” The one adviser we know he listens to is his daughter, and she is certainly no conservative. Does anyone believe he will side with Mike Pence and against her in a fight over, say, Planned Parenthood?


Donald Milhous Trump

Hadley Arkes, one of the many “Scholars for Trump” I respect a great deal, has an interesting argument for why he supports him. He writes:

In 1964 the Republicans, with Goldwater, were blown away, and yet four years later the Republicans came back strongly with Richard Nixon. But in those intervening four years the regime itself was changed: The Great Society extended and confirmed the reach of the federal authority until it covered hiring and firing in corporations and even small, private colleges. And it extended federal controls over local education. We are faced now with a comparable threat to change the regime yet again. Obama has already sought to govern wide sections of the economy with regulations that bear little connection to any statute that can give the standing of law to these executive orders. He has made a nullity of Congress and the separation of powers.

Note that Arkes says Republicans came back strongly with Richard Nixon. That’s true. But this was not a conservative comeback. The Goldwaterites were marginalized. Nixon didn’t roll back the Great Society; he made it bipartisan.

Save for his anti-Communism, Nixon wasn’t a conservative. He came from the progressive, Rockefeller, wing of the GOP. He told reporters that the “Buckleyites” were a “threat more menacing” to the GOP than was the John Birch Society. He believed Ronald Reagan was a “know-nothing.” He told his aide John C. Whitaker, “There is only one thing as bad as a far-left liberal and that’s a damn right-wing conservative.” Nixon created the EPA, implemented wage and price controls, launched the first affirmative-action programs, and proposed a health-care program that was downright Obamacare-esque.

From everything we know, Trump’s a Nixonian liberal without a fraction of Nixon’s policy chops. He’s surrounded himself with Nixon-retreads like Manafort and Stone, and ripped off Nixon’s entire rhetorical playbook from “the silent majority” on down.

In my heart, I truly believe he would trade Supreme Court appointments for a massive infrastructure program. The one thing we know about the guy is he likes to build stuff and put his name on it. If Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi — who already want a massive infrastructure program — told him, “Hey, meet us half way on the judges and we’ll deliver the votes you’ll need,” he’d do it in a heartbeat, throwing the conservatives under the bus while — here’s the important point — taking an enormous number of Republicans with him.

Just look at the issues of trade, entitlements, child care, and gun rights (in the form of his capitulation on the terror watch list). Look at all the formerly “true conservative” types who’ve gamely gone along with Trump so far. Do you honestly think they’ll break with a president Trump? Trump won’t crush the administrative state, he will be rolled by the bureaucrats. That’s what the heads of bureaucracies do in our system. They don’t run the agencies, they spin-up and co-opt politicians. That’s why you need a conservative president who knows things.


The Perfidious Binary

I’m not one to over-indulge in self-pity, but I do sometimes feel like a therapist should be asking me, “Show me on the doll where 2016 touched you.” But among the most annoying and asinine “arguments” — accusations really — hurled at me 100 times a day is that if I’m against Trump, I’m for Hillary. This is nonsense on stilts atop a cloud. I can’t stand Hillary Clinton. Back when Trump was writing her checks and inviting her to his wedding, I was opposing her and her familial tong with everything I had. I wrote Liberal Fascism with her in mind. The hardcover’s subtitle reference to “the politics of meaning” was a direct shot at her New Age–y soft-totalitarian nanny-statism. I will give the first person who can find a single pro-Hillary column — or paragraph! — I’ve ever written a lifetime subscription to National Review.

I think she will make a terrible president and be bad for America. If any of the other 16 candidates had won the nomination, many of whom I cannot stand, I would be out there screaming expletives at any Republican who thought Hillary was a better choice.

And even with my adamantine opposition to Trump, I still cannot imagine endorsing Hillary Clinton (even though liberals are now insisting I must almost as much as conservatives claim I have), because I know she will be horrible and she stands for things I reject with every fiber of my political soul (“Do souls have fibers?” — The Couch).

But here’s the thing: Conservatives know how to oppose Clinton, who will come into office the most damaged and unpopular president in American history, having fulfilled her mandate to not be Trump on Day One.

But it’s already very clear they do not know how to oppose Trump. His hostile takeover of the Republican party demonstrates that. So do the otherworldly descriptions of Trump that his more intellectual supporters conjure from thin air. If he becomes president, the Republican party will no longer be even notionally conservative. America can survive four years of Hillary Clinton, though those four years will be bad. Very bad. But America cannot survive if both parties reject the principles of limited government and constitutionalism, which would be the result of a “successful” Trump presidency or even most scenarios in which he’s a failed president. The demise won’t be instantaneous, but gradual, as a new bipartisan consensus forms between a right-wing statist party and a left-wing statist party. The body-snatched Republicans will become ever more serviceable dummies for the master of rectal ventriloquism. Principled conservatives won’t vanish — though some trolls keep telling me we’ll all be hung, gassed, or killed by the coming mobs. Rather, we will become increasingly irrelevant, cast into the same peanut gallery as our libertarian cousins.

But, we will be able to say, “I told you so.” Which, in my selfish moments, is a great temptation.

Jonah Goldberg
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Strassel nails Comey on the Cheryl Mills immunity deal on: September 30, 2016, 03:11:35 PM
 By Kimberley A. Strassel
Sept. 29, 2016 7:28 p.m. ET

Two revealing, if largely unnoticed, moments came in the middle of FBI Director Jim Comey’s Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. When combined, these moments prove that Mr. Comey gave Hillary Clinton a pass.

Congress hauled Mr. Comey in to account for the explosive revelation that the government granted immunity to Clinton staffers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson as part of its investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton had mishandled classified information. Rep. Tom Marino (R., Pa.), who was once a Justice Department prosecutor and knows how these investigations roll, provided the first moment. He asked Mr. Comey why Ms. Mills was so courteously offered immunity in return for her laptop—a laptop that Mr. Comey admitted investigators were very keen to obtain. Why not simply impanel a grand jury, get a subpoena, and seize the evidence?

Mr. Comey’s answer was enlightening: “It’s a reasonable question. . . . Any time you are talking about the prospect of subpoenaing a computer from a lawyer—that involves the lawyer’s practice of law—you know you are getting into a big megillah.” Pressed further, he added: “In general, you can often do things faster with informal agreements, especially when you are interacting with lawyers.”

The key words: “The lawyer’s practice of law.” What Mr. Comey was referencing here is attorney-client privilege. Ms. Mills was able to extract an immunity deal, avoid answering questions, and sit in on Mrs. Clinton’s FBI interview because she has positioned herself as Hillary’s personal lawyer. Ms. Mills could therefore claim that any conversations or interactions she had with Mrs. Clinton about the private server were protected by attorney-client privilege.
More Potomac Watch

    Trump Debate Dos and Don’ts Sept. 22, 2016
    Democrats’ Deplorable Emails Sept. 15, 2016
    The Trump Blitz Begins Sept. 8, 2016
    Make Democrats Own ObamaCare Sept. 1, 2016

Only here’s the rub: When Ms. Mills worked at the State Department she was not acting as Mrs. Clinton’s personal lawyer. She was the secretary's chief of staff. Any interaction with Mrs. Clinton about her server, or any evidence from that time, should have been fair game for the FBI and the Justice Department.

Ms. Mills was allowed to get away with this “attorney-client privilege” nonsense only because she claimed that she did not know about Mrs. Clinton’s server until after they had both left the State Department. Ergo, no questions about the server.

The FBI has deliberately chosen to accept this lie. The notes of its interview with Ms. Mills credulously states: “Mills did not learn Clinton was using a private email server until after Clinton’s tenure” at State. It added: “Mills stated she was not even sure she knew what a server was at the time.”

Which brings us to the hearing’s second revealing moment. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) pointed out that the FBI’s notes from its interview with Clinton IT staffer Bryan Pagliano expose this lie. In late 2009 or early 2010, Mr. Pagliano told investigators, he approached Ms. Mills to relay State Department concerns that the private server might pose a “federal records retention issue.” According to Mr. Pagliano, Ms. Mills told him not to worry about it, because other secretaries of state had used similar setups.

More damning, Mr. Chaffetz held up an email that Ms. Mills sent in 2010 to Justin Cooper, whom the Clintons personally employed to help maintain the server. The email reads: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Mr. Cooper responds: “Ur funny. We are on the same server.”

To be clear: When Mrs. Clinton had an email problem, Ms. Mills didn’t call the State Department’s help desk. She didn’t call Yahoo customer service. She called a privately employed Clinton aide and asked specifically about Mrs. Clinton’s “server.” She did this as chief of staff at the State Department. Mr. Chaffetz asked Mr. Comey why the FBI wrote that Ms. Mills was ignorant about the server until later.

Mr. Comey suddenly sounded like a man with something to hide. “I don’t remember exactly, sitting here,” he said, in what can only be called the FBI version of “I don’t recall.” He then mumbled that “Having done many investigations myself, there’s always conflicting recollections of facts, some of which are central, some of which are peripheral. I don’t remember, sitting here, about that one.”

Really? Only a few minutes before he had explained that the Justice Department was forced to issue immunity to Ms. Mills because she had asserted attorney-client privilege. Yet he couldn’t remember all the glaring evidence proving she had no such privilege? Usually, the FBI takes a dim view of witnesses who lie. Had the FBI pursued perjury charges against Ms. Mills—as it would have done against anyone else—it would have had extraordinary leverage to force her to speak about all of her communications regarding the server. It might have even threatened to build a case that Ms. Mills was part of a criminal scheme. Then it could have offered immunity in return for the real goods on Hillary.

But going that route would have required grand juries, subpoenas, warrants and indictments—all things that Mr. Comey clearly wanted to avoid in this politically sensitive investigation. Much easier to turn a blind eye to Ms. Mills’s fiction. And to therefore give Mrs. Clinton a pass.

Write to
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hillary's resurrects comparable worth on: September 30, 2016, 03:04:14 PM

If I have it right, this piece fails to connect all the dots clearly.  When Hillary spoke of "equal pay for women's work" in the debate she was NOT speaking of equal pay between a man and a woman doing the same job, she was calling for equal pay between women dominated fields and male dominated fields a.k.a. "comparable worth"-- a truly pernicious, fascist, and Orwellian concept.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More back door giveaways in the Iran Nuke Deal on: September 30, 2016, 02:59:14 PM
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: September 30, 2016, 02:32:50 PM
Good news out of Sacramento.

With only one day left to spare, Governor Jerry Brown has signed the last pro-gun bill on his desk.

SB 443, by Senator Holly Mitchell, reforms current civil asset forfeiture laws which allow law enforcement to permanently seize your property, including your firearms, without due process.

As a civil rights organization that represents the interests of some of the most regulated, tracked, and legislated classes of people, we believe it is imperative that our supporters have access to their constitutionally guaranteed private property and due process rights.

That is why we have supported this contentious bill in the Legislature and it is why we actively fought to have Governor Brown sign it. 
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pakistan buys President Bill via Hillary on: September 30, 2016, 02:25:52 PM
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Biden on Immigration on: September 30, 2016, 02:10:14 PM
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: September 30, 2016, 09:56:43 AM
You Can’t Help a Man Who Can’t Help Himself
Between 3 and 5 a.m. this morning, the Republican nominee for president offered some thoughts on Twitter, urging those believing the tale of Miss Venezuela to “check out her sex tape and past.” He declared any stories about his staffers being dissatisfied with his debate performance must be false — “There are no sources, they are just made up lies!” He also misspelled “judgment.”
Hillary Clinton wanted to make this week about Alicia Machado; Donald Trump agreed. That’s on him.
Many good right-of-center friends are on the Trump bandwagon, and are working for his victory, and fervently hoping he can reach those 270 electoral votes. I think they are working harder, and smarter, and showing more judgment than the candidate himself.
From coverage of his preparation for the first debate:
He has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.
If you knew you were going to speak before 84 million Americans, wouldn’t you do everything humanly possible to maximize your chance of success?
Tuesday morning, he told Fox and Friends, “I really eased up because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Assuming that’s true, he didn’t maximize his chance of winning over voters . . . before an audience of 84 million people . . . because he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Now he gets sensitive?
This is the lamest excuse imaginable. “I could have done a lot better, but I chose not to do that.” Trump thinks he’s saying, “Look at what a nice guy I am.” What he’s really saying is, “look at what catastrophically egregious judgment I have.”
Why should anyone be emotionally invested in this man’s victory, if he refuses to learn, refuses to improve, and refuses to avoid making the same mistakes, over and over and over and over again? I’d love to see Hillary Clinton defeated. I just have no faith that Donald Trump is capable of doing that. Every now and then, he gains some traction, the polls get closer . . . and then he goes and does something stupid. And all of his supporters insist it doesn’t matter, and that we should all avert our eyes, and that we’re betraying something good and righteous by noticing what just happened right in front of us. And then they insist it’s not stupid, that there’s some brilliant nine-level chess going on that we can’t possibly understand from the outside, and if we just wait and see, Donald Trump will win in the end. Unless he doesn’t, because the election is rigged.
That’s not a campaign; that’s a cult.
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Veiled woman assassin on: September 30, 2016, 09:28:32 AM

118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Libertarian and Green candidates on: September 30, 2016, 01:07:52 AM
We are so fuct if she wins , , ,
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Whose side are you on DHS? on: September 30, 2016, 01:01:30 AM
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We are linked on Hotgas? on: September 29, 2016, 04:38:12 PM
"Our forum linked in the 'major media':    )"

Where, where? 
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: September 29, 2016, 04:32:54 PM
On FOX last night they were talking that she had been a narco's squeeze and that she had driven the getaway car when her brother tried murdering someone.  Apparently he threatened the judge in question and somehow nothing happened.

PS:  In her own words she admitted packing on some pounds after winning the crown ("I was super anorexic in order to win, but then I got healthy again.")
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JASTA politics on: September 29, 2016, 03:24:14 PM

By James Taranto
Sept. 29, 2016 2:01 p.m. ET

“Congress Disses Obama One Last Time” reads a Politico headline. “Diss” (or “dis”) is a slang term for “disrespect,” so the implication is that lawmakers have personally slighted the president, when in fact all they have done is exercise their authority under the Constitution.

And what they did is more aptly characterized as a first than a last. The House and Senate both easily mustered the two-thirds majorities required to approve the only veto override in Obama’s more than 7½ years in office. In this column’s view Obama is right on the substance—the new law is a bad one—but the story of how it came to pass is one in which everyone in Washington, including the president, looks terrible.
More James Taranto

Follow James on Twitter

    Trump and Iraq Sept. 28, 2016
    Trump Is Now Normal Sept. 27, 2016
    ‘Donald Trump’s Special’ Sept. 26, 2016
    The Campaign to Normalize Terrorism Sept. 23, 2016
    Labor of Lovitz Sept. 22, 2016

The new law, styled the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act or Jasta, “would allow victims of terrorism on U.S. soil to sue foreign governments found responsible for those attacks,” as Politico explains. Its main target is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it is supposed to benefit one of the most sympathetic groups in America, survivors of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Unsurprisingly—and necessarily for a successful veto override—the act had wide bipartisan support. The vote to override was 97-1 in the Senate; Minority Leader Harry Reid was the sole dissenter, and it is probably no coincidence he is retiring at the end of the year. (Virginia’s Tim Kaine and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, off campaigning for Hillary Clinton, missed the vote.) The House vote was 348-77, with only 18 Republicans and 59 Democrats voting against.

So what’s not to like about a bill that helps terror victims at the expense of our friends the Saudis? The Wall Street Journal made the case for the president’s position in an editorial last week: “If Jasta becomes law, crucial decisions affecting U.S. foreign policy will be influenced by judges and tort lawyers, instead of the U.S. President and diplomats.” The editorial further noted that “the anti-Saudi posturing is building at the moment the Saudis are showing a greater commitment to domestic reform and the antiterror effort.”

The president did not make his case so strongly. In fact, the text of that Politico story suggests that it was he who “dissed” Congress more than the other way around:

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he and other senators repeatedly requested meetings with White House officials to hash out a potential deal that could accommodate some of the administration’s concerns.

    But he heard nothing back, Corker said. It’s just been “dial tone,” the senator added.

    “There’s been zero involvement from the White House. Zero,” Corker said, forming a “zero” with his fingers to underscore his point. “When you have a veto like this, it takes involvement, constructive involvement. I mean, there’s nothing.”

But Corker and his colleagues look equally feckless. Twenty-eight of them, from both parties, signed a letter yesterday to Sens. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the legislation’s lead sponsors, promising to “work with you in a constructive manner to appropriately mitigate” the bill’s “unintended consequences.” Why not do that before passing the law?

The president made that point Wednesday night, in a CNN “town hall”: “We found out some of the people who voted for it said, frankly, we didn’t know what was in it. And there was no debate of it. And it was, you know, basically a political vote.”

It’s more than a little rich for the man who gave us ObamaCare to be complaining now about lawmakers’ failure to read legislation without knowing what was in it. But the president is right on this point, notwithstanding his lack of credibility. Though it’s a bit silly for him to complain that it was “a political vote.” When is a vote not political?

Obama also said: “It’s an example of why sometimes you have to do what’s hard. And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard.” Fair enough, but perhaps they would have if he had done the hard work of private persuasion that he seems to think beneath him.

“This is the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday, according to the Hill (the House hadn’t yet voted):

    Earnest was responding to a reporter who told him Wednesday’s vote was the most overwhelming since a 95-0 veto override vote in 1983. In that year, the Senate overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of a land bill to give a few acres to six retired couples who paid for it, but later learned that it was still government property because of a surveying error.

The Washington Post contemporaneously reported on that veto, which “came under attack . . . from Republicans and Democrats as an act of insensitivity to the elderly.” Reagan’s veto message said the bill “ ‘would create a clearly undesirable precedent’ by encouraging other landowners to claim federal land at no charge.” We’re at a loss to understand why Earnest is siding with Reagan on that question 33 years later.

So here we have a law passed by congressmen who acknowledge it is likely to have deleterious unintended consequences and self-righteously denounced by a president who couldn’t be bothered to make the case to lawmakers ahead of the vote. And some in the press—we’re looking at you, Politico—portray it as just a big personal spat.

Is it any wonder many voters are fed up enough with Washington that they are willing to consider sending a man to the White House who lacks the basic experience and knowledge that one would think would be a prerequisite for the presidency?

For that matter, is it any wonder other voters, having done exactly that eight years ago, worry about repeating the same mistake?
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another brain fart from Johnson on: September 29, 2016, 02:35:50 PM
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey on Clinton payroll? on: September 28, 2016, 04:10:36 PM
Can anyone confirm or deny?  I do not know this site.
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Baraq's November Surprise? on: September 28, 2016, 01:41:10 PM
Obama's November Surprise
by Gregg Roman
The Hill
September 26, 2016
President Obama is contemplating a surprise move to permit anti-Israel action by the UN Security Council during his final months in office.

There is growing speculation that President Obama will spring a diplomatic surprise on Israel during the interregnum between the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 and his departure from office in January.

Some say the surprise will be a speech laying down parameters for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute or some type of formal censure of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but the scenario generating most discussion is a decision to support, or perhaps not to veto, a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.

This would be a bombshell. Washington's long-stated policy is that a Palestinian state should be established only through an agreement negotiated directly between the two sides. In practice, this would require that Palestinian leaders agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and concede the so-called "right of return" for refugees of the 1948 war and their descendants to areas within Israel's borders, a prospect which would mean the demographic destruction of Israel.

Past administrations understood the folly of recognizing Palestinian statehood before a peace settlement.

For decades, Palestinian leaders have made it clear they won't do this: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn't mince words, telling a gathering of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo in November 2014, "We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel." Efforts to win recognition of Palestinian statehood by foreign governments and multilateral institutions are designed to skirt this precondition for statehood.

Any state that comes into existence without Palestinian leaders formally recognizing Israel will be a brutal, unstable train wreck, with areas under its jurisdiction likely to remain a hotbed of terrorism. On top of whatever existing factors are producing the endemic corruption and autocracy of the Abbas regime (not to mention the Hamas regime in Gaza), unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will vindicate radicals who have been saying all along that there's no need to compromise.

On the other hand, official Palestinian acknowledgement once and for all that Israel is not just here to stay, but has a right to stay, would deprive Palestinian leaders of time-honored tools for manipulating their constituents – appealing to and inflaming their baser anti-Jewish prejudices, promising them salvation if they'll only shut up 'til the Zionists are defeated, and so forth. Instead, they will have to do things like govern well and create jobs to win public support.
Palestinian incitement to violence starts early. Above, the second grade Palestinian textbook Our Beautiful Language depicts Israelis uprooting trees from Palestinian land.

Previous American administrations have understood that recognizing Palestinian statehood before Abbas and company allow Palestinian society to undergo this transformation would be the height of irresponsibility. This is why American veto power has consistently blocked efforts to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state by way of the UN Security Council.

Notwithstanding his apparent pro-Palestinian sympathies and affiliations prior to running for the Senate and later the White House, President Obama initially maintained this policy. The expressed threat of an American veto foiled Abbas' 2011 bid to win UN member-state status for "Palestine." He settled for recognition of non-member-state status by the General Assembly in 2012.

As moves by the PA to bring the issue of statehood to the UN picked up steam last year, however, it appeared to walk back this commitment. While U.S officials privately maintained there was "no change," Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power refused – despite the urging of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – to state publicly that the U.S. would use its veto to stop a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood.

The conventional wisdom was that Obama's refusal to make such a public declaration was intended to exert pressure on Netanyahu to tone down his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and later to punish him for it or hold it out to secure concessions. As his presidency enters its final months, it's clear something even more nefarious is at work.

Congress must use the tools at its disposal to make a reckless policy reversal by Obama as difficult as possible.

President Obama's failure to clarify his administration's position has greatly damaged prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Even if it is Obama's intention to veto any resolution on Palestinian statehood that comes up at the UN, his refusal to publicly state this – or, put differently, his determination to go on the record for the history books not saying it – has fueled perceptions among Palestinians and European governments facing pressures of their own that American will is softening.

It is imperative that Congress use the tools at its disposal to make this unwise path as difficult as possible for the Obama administration.

Ultimately, a one-sided UN declaration such as this serves only to postpone by a long shot the day when Palestinian leaders accept Israel as it is – the homeland of the Jewish people – and allow their subjects to enjoy the lasting peace and prosperity they and their neighbors deserve.

Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Lester Holt was quite wrong on Stop & Frisk ruling on: September 28, 2016, 11:28:35 AM

Fact-Checking Lester Holt
Here’s the legal back story on that stop-and-frisk ruling.
Sept. 27, 2016 6:55 p.m. ET

We told you Tuesday that Donald Trump was right when he pushed back on debate moderator Lester Holt over “stop and frisk” policing. But the story deserves a more complete explanation, not least because the media are distorting the record.

Mr. Trump invoked stop and frisk as a way to “take the gun away from criminals” in high-crime areas and protect the innocent. That provoked Mr. Holt, who said that “stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York.” Mr. Trump then noted that the ruling in the case came from a “very against police judge” who later had the case taken away from her. Mrs. Clinton then echoed Mr. Holt.

Here’s what really happened. The federal judge in the stop-and-frisk case was Shira Scheindlin, a notorious police critic whose behavior got her taken off the case by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court put it this way:

“Upon review of the record in these cases, we conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges . . . and that the appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation was compromised by the District Judge’s improper application of the Court’s ‘related case rule’ . . . and by a series of media interviews and public statements purporting to respond publicly to criticism of the District Court.”

The court then remanded the case to another judge who would not present an appearance of bias against the police. In a follow-up opinion, the appellate judges cited a New Yorker interview with Judge Scheindlin that included a quote from a former law clerk saying “what you have to remember about the judge is that she thinks cops lie.”

This is an extraordinary rebuke by a higher court and raises doubts that the merits of her ruling would have held up on appeal. As Rudolph Giuliani makes clear nearby, the judge’s ruling of unconstitutionality applied only to stop and frisk as it was practiced in New York at the time. Such police search tactics have long been upheld by higher courts.

In the end, the clock ran out on Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and new Mayor Bill de Blasiochose not to appeal. We rate Mr. Trump’s claim true and unfairly second-guessed by a moderator who didn’t give the viewing public all the facts.
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lesbian for Trump on: September 28, 2016, 10:36:52 AM
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AM Codevilla: After the Republic on: September 28, 2016, 10:29:41 AM
After the Republic
By: Angelo M. Codevilla
September 27, 2016
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: September 28, 2016, 09:57:41 AM
Very good piece.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NRO on: September 28, 2016, 09:55:51 AM
It’s Like No One Remembers Who John Warner Is
Most of the Washington media is acting like it’s an enormous surprise that former senator John Warner of Virginia is endorsing Hillary Clinton.
People, people . . . Sometimes I feel like the only man with memory in land of amnesiacs. It was just two years ago that Warner was endorsing the Democrat in the Senate race.
Retired Republican Sen. John Warner endorsed his Democratic successor and onetime rival Mark Warner on Monday in his race against Ed Gillespie.
The 86-year-old told POLITICO that the state benefits from the seniority in the Senate that the 59-year-old Warner (the two are not related) is accumulating. The former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee also praised the younger Warner – with whom he has developed a friendship since the two squared off in a race nearly two decades ago – for effectively advocating on behalf of the state’s large military presence.
John Warner is the kind of Republican who supported Roe v. Wade and embryonic stem cell research, voted for the Brady Bill, sought to extend the Assault Weapons Ban, voted to reject the nomination of Robert Bork, voted against Bill Clinton’s impeachment, broke with the rest of the party on the Terry Schiavo case, was part of the Gang of 14 on the “nuclear option,” co-sponsored a resolution opposing the 2007 surge of additional U.S. troops in Iraq, and cosponsored cap-and-trade legislation.
John Warner is exactly the kind of Republican you would expect to see endorse Hillary Clinton.
Who Will Win More Votes Where It Counts, Trump or GOP Senate Candidates?
The piece of data that will most illuminate 2016 is Donald Trump’s vote total in key states compared to the vote totals of the Republican Senate candidates in those states.
The easy, lazy narrative is that a tired, unappealing Republican establishment was sputtering, and then Trump came along, energizing working-class white voters, and he represents a better, more broadly-appealing agenda for the party and represents the GOP future.
The current RealClearPolitics averages in each state tell a completely different story.
Right now, Trump is running a little ahead of GOP Senate candidates in a couple of states . . .
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Colorado: 41 percent.
Darryl Glenn’s current level in the RCP average in Colorado: 40.4 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Indiana: 45 percent.
Todd Young’s current level in the RCP average in Indiana: 40.5 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Missouri: 46.7 percent.
Roy Blunt’s current level in the RCP average in Missouri: 44.6 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in North Carolina: 42.3 percent.
Richard Burr’s current level in the RCP average in North Carolina: 42.2 percent.
Trump is running a little behind GOP Senate candidates in a bunch of states . . .
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Florida: 43.3 percent.
Marco Rubio’s current level in the RCP average in Florida: 46.4 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Georgia: 45.4 percent.
Johnny Isakson’s current level in the RCP average in Georgia: 49 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Illinois: 34.5 percent.
Mark Kirk’s current level in the RCP average in Illinois: 37.5 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Nevada: 42.8 percent.
Joe Heck’s current level in the RCP average in Nevada: 45 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Pennsylvania: 41.8 percent.
Pat Toomey’s current level in the RCP average in Pennsylvania: 42.2 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Wisconsin: 38 percent.
Ron Johnson’s current level in the RCP average in Wisconsin: 41.3 percent.
And Trump is running way behind GOP Senate candidates in another couple of states.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Arizona: 40.4 percent.
John McCain’s current level in the RCP average in Arizona: 49.7 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Iowa: 42.8 percent.
Chuck Grassley’s current level in the RCP average in Iowa: 52 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in New Hampshire: 37.3 percent.
Kelly Ayotte’s current level in the RCP average in New Hampshire: 47.3 percent.
Trump’s current level in the RCP average in Ohio: 42.7 percent.
Rob Portman’s current level in the RCP average in Ohio: 49.3 percent.
All appropriate caveats apply: Polls can be wrong, a bad sample can throw off the RCP average, et cetera. After the election, when all the votes are counted, we’ll have real data. Some will argue that this is an imperfect measuring stick, because Trump is competing against Clinton as well as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and most third-party candidates in Senate races are minimally consequential. Of course, this is part of the point. Trump alienates and repels a portion of the electorate that is usually more open to voting for a Republican nominee.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cowardice in the face of Correctness on: September 28, 2016, 09:52:03 AM
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 28, 2016, 12:11:42 AM
On line polls are of limited value.
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: September 28, 2016, 12:10:42 AM
Several truly hideous new gun laws passed this session.

At least this:

September 27, 2016
Following a season of heartaches for California gun owners, Governor Jerry Brown has, in the closing days of the legislative cycle, decided in favor of the Second Amendment for the remaining gun bills on his desk. As of last night, he struck down two bad bills (AB 450 and SB 1332) and upheld one of the good ones (AB 2510).
VETOED – AB 450, according to its author, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, would have “clarified” current law regarding concealed weapon permits and would have mandated that the issuing authority charge a fee “sufficient” to cover the cost of CCW issuance and administration. In reality, this bill would have lifted the limits placed on CCW fees, and, as a result, many prospective CCW holders would be “priced out of the market”—meaning that, potentially, only those of greater means would be able to afford a carry permit. It is important, also, to note that this bill was a blatant attempt to insert the state into decisions and affairs of the local government.
VETOED – SB 1332, authored by Senator Tony Mendoza, would have allowed spouses and domestic partners to jointly register a firearm under both of their names. However, this bill would also have severely crippled the process of the loaning of firearms—shortening the period during which the firearm can be loaned from 30 days down to 10.  Furthermore, SB 1332 would have opened up the use of money from the Firearm Safety and Enforcement Fund for use in other DOJ projects.
SIGNED – SB 2510, authored by Assemblyman Eric Linder, allows local law enforcement agencies to do away with the current cumbersome and easily damaged paper CCW permits in favor of a new standardized CCW identification cards.  These ID cards—already issued in certain California counties—would no longer need to be carried in conjunction with the large paper permits, are easily carried in a wallet/pocket/purse, are more durable, and would have the permit holder’s picture printed on it (making it easier for law enforcement to match the permit to the permit holder).
We at GOC would like to thank Governor Jerry Brown for his action on these pieces of legislation, and to thank every one of our members for standing with us in this year’s fight for the Second Amendment!
Stay armed and informed,
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Cheryl Mills, immunized on: September 27, 2016, 10:40:12 PM
The Secrets of Cheryl Mills
If there was no evidence of criminal activity, why all the immunity?
By William McGurn
Sept. 26, 2016 7:31 p.m. ET

Why did Cheryl Mills require criminal immunity?

This is the irksome question hanging over the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s home-brew server in the wake of news that Ms. Mills was granted immunity for her laptop’s contents.

Ms. Mills was a top Clinton aide at the State Department who became Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer when she left. She was also a witness, as well as a potential target, in the same FBI investigation into her boss’s emails. The laptop the bureau wanted was one Ms. Mills used in 2014 to sort Clinton emails before deciding which would be turned over to State.

Here’s the problem. There are two ways a witness can get immunity: Either she invokes the Fifth Amendment on the grounds she might incriminate herself, or, worried something on the laptop might expose her to criminal liability, her lawyers reveal what this might be before prosecutors agree to an immunity deal.

As with so much else in this investigation, the way the laptop was handled was out of the ordinary. Normally, immunity is granted for testimony and interviews. The laptop was evidence. Standard practice would have been for the FBI to get a grand-jury subpoena to compel Ms. Mills to produce it.

Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney, puts it this way: “It’s like telling a bank robbery suspect, ‘If you turn over that bag, I’ll give you immunity as to the contents’—which means if the money you robbed is in there, I can’t use it against you.”

The Mills immunity, which we learned of on Friday, has unfortunately been overwhelmed by the first Trump-Clinton debate. But the week is still young. On Wednesday, Congress will have an opportunity to put the Mills questions to FBI director James Comey when he appears before the House Judiciary Committee.

Back in July, Mr. Comey must have thought he’d settled the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s emails with a grandstanding press conference in which he asserted “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against her based on what the FBI had found. In so doing, he effectively wrested the indictment decision (and any hope for political accountability) from the Justice Department. Plainly even his own agents weren’t buying, given that Mr. Comey later felt the need to issue an internal memo whining that he wasn’t being political.

Now we learn about the multiple immunity deals. Immunity in exchange for information that will help make the case against higher-ups is not unusual. Even so, the Mills deal carries a special stink.

To begin with, Ms. Mills was pretty high up herself. As Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, she was in the thick of operations. In 2012, while working at State, she traveled to New York to interview candidates for a top job at the Clinton Foundation.

More disturbing still, not only was Ms. Mills granted immunity for the content on her laptop, she was permitted to act as Mrs. Clinton’s attorney even though she herself was also a witness in the investigation.

This was allowed in part because she told the FBI she knew nothing of Mrs. Clinton’s private server until after she’d left the State Department. But this claim is suspect and contradicted by emails that have since emerged. These include one to Huma Abedin asking, “hrc email coming back—is server ok?”

The special treatment accorded Ms. Mills also reeks on a more fundamental level. As a rule, the Justice Department is aggressive about going after lawyers for any perceived conflict of interest. This would include, for example, a lawyer who wanted to represent different parties in a trial.

By giving Ms. Mills a pass to serve as Mrs. Clinton’s attorney in an investigation in which she was a material witness, Justice allowed her to shield her communications with Mrs. Clinton under attorney-client privilege. Indeed, Ms. Mills invoked that privilege during her own FBI interview.

Imagine Tom Hagen, the mob lawyer played by Robert Duvall in “The Godfather,” discussing with Don Corleone who was to get whacked—and then invoking the lawyer-client relationship to hush it up. Think of it this way and you begin to get the picture.

For those who think the fix was in from the start, Ms. Mills’s presence at Mrs. Clinton’s FBI interview, along with nine other people (not including the two FBI agents) is further evidence of a circus. Judiciary Committee members might do well to ask Mr. Comey why Ms. Mills and so many others were allowed to sit in on that interview.

In short, far from resolving Mrs. Clinton’s email case, the handling of the investigation has provoked questions about integrity of both the FBI and Justice. The big question for Mr. Comey remains this:

You publicly said there was no case for criminal charges. So what did Cheryl Mills need immunity for?

Write to
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 27, 2016, 05:09:18 PM
They want to forestall him from complaining about dirty tricks, rigging the vote, stuffing the ballot box, etc. 

This question may well prove to be a big warning flag of serious cheating to come.
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 27, 2016, 09:29:11 AM
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: September 27, 2016, 08:22:25 AM
Though the chattering class is scoring is for Hillary, and certainly Trump missed many opportunities (and got dinged a few times e.g. birther) I think Trump did fine on the meta issues.  I suspect when the first post debate polls come out (Saturday) once again will be confounded that his polls went up , , , I hope and pray.
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The SCOTUS issue on: September 26, 2016, 05:24:35 PM
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: September 26, 2016, 03:21:03 PM
The way I look at it is that for year or two he was deep in the zone, operating at a level way beyond his inherent natural ability.  Now he flounders, rather badly.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Social Media equivalent of the stockade heh heh on: September 26, 2016, 02:53:14 PM
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / That's the spirit! on: September 26, 2016, 02:33:16 PM
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glen Beck unhappy with Cruz on: September 26, 2016, 02:23:06 PM
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Left critiques of Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" on: September 26, 2016, 01:53:24 PM

144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Millions climb out of poverty on: September 26, 2016, 01:30:11 PM
No doubt Obama-Hillary will claim credit, and one suspects that this underpins Obama's perplexing high approval ratings , , ,
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trey Gowdy in outstanding form (James Comey) on: September 25, 2016, 11:33:17 PM
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Is Elysium fountain of youth? on: September 25, 2016, 10:59:24 PM
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A liberal reviews Jonah Goldberg's book on: September 25, 2016, 10:50:44 PM
148  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: September 25, 2016, 11:33:00 AM
 shocked shocked shocked
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ratzinger and Our Crisis of Reason on: September 25, 2016, 01:09:43 AM
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LA beach town debates drone policy on: September 25, 2016, 01:01:38 AM
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